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Friday, December 21, 2012
Recruiting faceoff: Biggest news of week?

By Bob Przybylo and Brandon Chatmon

Each week SoonerNation recruiting writers Bob Przybylo and Brandon Chatmon face off on one issue regarding Oklahoma recruiting.

This week’s question: It was a huge week for OU on the trail, but what was the biggest news from the last seven days?

Brandon Chatmon: Trinity Valley Community College defensive tackle Quincy Russell's decision to sign with Oklahoma was an early Christmas present for the Sooners. Landing a junior college standout at a position of major need should provide an energy boost for the recruiting class and give OU plenty of momentum heading into January. Several great things happened for OU in recent days, but none better than Russell's signing.

Bob Przybylo: Right school, wrong prospect. No doubt Russell provides a big boost at defensive tackle, but his teammate, four-star offensive tackle Josiah St. John, takes the cake this week. In a week loaded with legitimate choices, St. John's surprise commitment stands out. He's a spring graduate so nobody saw it coming, but St. John said he was ready, so what's the point in waiting? With that commitment locked down, OU secured itself just a bit more at a major position of need.

Chatmon: Major position of need? There's no position on the roster that compares to the defensive tackle spot. While landing St. John was a pleasant surprise, OU has multiple young offensive tackles with extensive game experience already on the roster and there's a major hole in the defensive interior. And Russell, at 6-foot-4, 308 pounds, can figuratively and literally fill that hole. Imagine the despair and concern if the Sooners hadn't landed Russell; now compare that to the same scenario with St. John.

Przybylo: St. John was a big-time get for coaches James Patton and Bruce Kittle. As much as defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp has been scrutinized by OU fans, he has delivered some top names. Getting Dallas Skyline's Kerrick Huggins was a sign things were changing at DT. But there wasn't a glimmer of hope at OT. Now there is, with the additions of St. John and Houston Stratford's Christian Daimler. St. John can be a difference-maker right out the gate.

Chatmon: Russell was a major need recruit, he's a good fit for what the Sooners defense is trying to do and he allows Shipp to focus on landing other potential impact defensive tackles with the piece of mind that he already has one in the bank. Those three factors leave no doubt in my mind that Russell's decision was the best thing that happened to OU in the past seven days.

Przybylo: A seven-day period that saw four commits -- all four either defensive tackles or offensive tackles. Glowing reactions after visits for ESPN 300 talents Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) and Adrian Baker (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna). But those talents aren't going to be able to do anything if there’s no protection. And that’s what St. John is going to provide. He’ll be a factor for the left tackle position as soon as he steps on campus.